ANCIENT COIN COLLECTORS GUILD

Yemen

March 03, 2022 11:34 PM | Sue McGovern-Huffman (Administrator)

Effective Date: February 7. 2020

Source: 85 Fed. Reg. 7209 (Feb. 7, 2020)

The list of coins is extensive. It includes:

9. Coins—A reference book for ancient, pre-Islamic material in Yemen is M. Huth, Coinage of the Caravan Kingdoms: Ancient Arabian Coins from the Collection of Martin Huth, New York, 2010, pp. 68-152. A reference book for Islamic coinage to A.D. 1750 is S. Album, Checklist of Islamic Coins, Santa Rosa, 2011, pp. 116-127. Some of the best-known types are described below:

a. Ancient—In gold, silver, and bronze/copper, with units ranging from tetradrachms down to various fractional levels.

i. Earliest coins from Yemen are imitations of silver tetradrachms from Athens; feature a bust of Athena on the obverse and an owl on the reverse. The style of these imitations is distinctive, and they are usually marked with Arabian monograms or graffiti. Approximate date: 500 B.C. and later.

ii. Minaeans produced schematic imitations of the Athenian coinage; these coins have angular shapes, often triangular. Style is distinctive with monograms with Arabian letters. Approximate date: 200 B.C.

iii. Sabaeans struck distinctive local imitations of Athenian tetradrachms, with or without monograms, often with the curved symbol of Almaqah to the right of the owl, and of smaller units than previously. In the 1st century A.D., the head of Athena is replaced with a male bust resembling Augustus; owl on the reverse continues, as do monograms and the curved symbol. In the 2nd and 3rd centuries A.D., a beardless male head appears on the coins with the curved symbol, and a facing bucranium (a bull's head) appears on the reverse with the curved symbol and monograms. Approximate date: 400 B.C.-A.D. 300.

iv. Himyarite coins feature beardless male heads on the obverse coupled with bearded male heads on the reverse. Various South Arabian monograms appear on the coins. Rulers include Yuhabirr, Karib'il Yehun`im Wattar, Amdan Yuhaqbid, Amdan Bayan, Tha'ran Ya`ub, Shamnar Yuhan`am, and unknown kings. Approximate date: 110 B.C.-A.D. 200.

v. Qatabians produced imitations of Athenian coins also in 2nd-4th century B.C., with or without monograms; distinctive style. From the 2nd century B.C. to the 2nd century A.D., head of Athena is replaced with male ruler portraits, including those of Yad'ab Dhubyan Yuhargib, Dhub, Hawfi`Amm Yuhan`am III, Shahr Yagul, Waraw'il Ghaylan, Shahr Hilal, Yad`ab Yanaf, and various unknown rulers. Reverses of early types have the owl, while later types have a second portrait on the reverse. Approximate date: 400 B.C.-A.D. 200.

vi. Bronze coins from Hadramawt have radiate male portraits in a circle on the obverse and a standing bull on the reverse; Arabian symbols appear. Approximate date: A.D. 200-400.

vii. Various South Arabian types imitate Athenian coins, Hellenistic Alexander tetradrachms with a head of Herakles on the obverse and Zeus seated on the reverse, and Ptolemaic coins with a cornucopia on the reverse. Style is distinctive; designs are accompanied by Arabian monograms.

b. Islamic Period—In gold, silver, and bronze, and including anonymous mints in Yemen, and coins of unknown rulers attributed to Yemen. Non-exclusive mints are the primary manufacturers of the listed coins, but there may be other production mints.

i. `Abbasid coins struck in gold, silver, and bronze, at non-exclusive mints San`a, Zabid, `Adan, Dhamar, `Aththar, and Baysh mints. Approximate date: A.D. 786-974.

ii. Coins of the Amirs of San`a, struck in gold, at the mint of San`a. Approximate date: A.D. 909-911.

iii. Rassid (1st period) coins struck in gold and silver at Sa`da, San`a, Tukhla', and `Aththar. Approximate date: A.D. 898-1014.

iv. Coins of the Amirs of Yemen, struck in silver, at an uncertain mint. Approximate date: A.D. 1000-1100.

v. Coins of the Amirs of `Aththar, struck in gold, at the mint of `Aththar. Approximate date: A.D. 957-988.

vi. Tarafid coins, struck in silver, at the mint of `Aththar. Approximate date: A.D. 991-1004.

vii. Ziyadid coins, struck in gold and silver, at non-exclusive mint Zabid. Approximate date: A.D. 955-1050s.

viii. Khawlanid coins, struck in silver, at the mint of San`a. Approximate date: A.D. 1046-1047.

ix. Najjahid coins, struck in gold, at the mints Zabid and Dathina. Approximate date: A.D. 1021-1158.

x. Sulayhid coins, struck in gold and debased silver, at non-exclusive mints Zabid, `Aththar, `Adan, Dhu Jibla. Approximate date: A.D. 1047-1137.

xi. Zuray'id coins, struck in gold, at the mints of `Adan and Dhu Jibla. Approximate date: A.D. 1111-1174.

xii. Coins of Mahdid of Zabid, struck in silver, at the mint of Zabid. Approximate date: A.D. 1159-1174.

xiii. Rassid (2nd period) coins, struck in gold and silver, at non-exclusive mints Zufar, San`a, Sa`da, Huth, Dhirwah, Kahlan, Muda', `Ayyan, Bukur, al-Jahili, and Dhamar. Approximate date: A.D. 1185-1390.

xiv. Ayyubid coins, struck in gold, silver, and bronze, at the mints of Zabid, `Adan, Ta`izz, San`a, al-Dumluwa, Bukur, and Mayban. Approximate date: A.D. 1174-1236.

xv. Rasulid coins, struck in gold, silver, and bronze, at non-exclusive mints `Adan, Zabid, al-Mahjam, Ta`izz, San`a, Tha'bat, and Hajja. Approximate date: A.D. 1229-1439.

xvi. Tahirid coins, struck in silver, at the mint of `Adan. Approximate date: A.D. 1517-1538.

xvii. Rassid (3rd period) coins, struck in silver and bronze, at the mints of San`a, Zafir, and Thula. Approximate date: A.D. 1506-1572.

xviii. Ottoman coins, struck in gold, silver and bronze, at the mints of Zabid, San`a, `Adan, Kawkaban, Ta`izz, Sa`da, al-Mukha, and Malhaz. Approximate date: A.D. 1520-1750.

Comment: Ironically, both Martin Huth and Stephen Album's firm have expressed concerns about import restrictions on coins to the Cultural Property Advisory Committee (CPAC) in the past. Yet, here their scholarly works on these coins are being cited as a basis for the restrictions! Once again, the restrictions include issues that would have circulated outside of the confines of modern Yemen, including many pre-Islamic silver and Islamic silver and gold coins.


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